Call For Applications
MENA Digital Summer School

mena digital summer school


The MENA Digital Summer School is a hybrid seminar on digital transformation targeting aspiring innovators from the MENA region in the field of digital transformation. The course aims at providing MENA relevant best of class learning. It uses cases and business contacts that will enable drivers of digital change of the region to develop their transformation projects, initiatives, and policies successfully. MENA DSS brings together like-minded people from different crafts and professional backgrounds. The course will include practical modules on data management, machine learning, strategic planning, design and management methods, transformation management, AI; technical foresight, smart cities, as well as tackling socio-economic issues of digitization in the MENA region. Moreover, field visits to communities and sessions with experts and leaders in the spheres of business, politics, economy, culture, academia, and media in Germany are offered. The course will also provide electives that relate to the projects/aspirations of the participants (e.g. MENA-platform strategies, digital culture, women in tech-networks, and more). The seminar is organized by the Candid Foundation and supported by the Chancellery of the State of North Rhine Westphalia, Divan – Arabic Cultural House (Berlin), Friedrich-Naumann Foundation, Einstein Centre Digital Future in Berlin, FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany’s leading distance learning university and the Digital Arabia Network (DAN), a lab for the digital future of the Arab world, which extends from the MENA region to the European diaspora. Parts of the program are contributed by the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS), Bochum, and other leading institutions in North Rhine Westphalia.


Alongside anthropogenic climate change and global population growth, the digital transformation of the world’s economy is a universal challenge that requires innovative, cooperative and multilateral solutions – all the more so in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Challenges caused by powered by 3 mena digital summer school the digitization of economies and automation already exacerbate existing faultlines in the region. They already have a detrimental impact on the most vulnerable groups in the labour market, such as women and young people. Our summer school aims to address the challenges of digitization in an innovative, interdisciplinary and forward-looking way to educate and inspire experts on digital transformation, by putting the students and their projects in the foreground. The summer school is chaired by the digital transformation expert, economist and political scientist Prof. Ayad Al-Ani and Daniel Gerlach. Al-Ani, a former executive partner with Accenture, is an associated member of the Einstein Center Digital Future and teaches at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town and Basel University, Switzerland. Daniel Gerlach is a German Middle East expert, political analyst and director general of the Candid Foundation. The Candid Foundation is a privately chartered think-and-do-tank in Berlin specialising in intercultural dialogue, media, and technological innovation. Courses will be taught by high-profile lecturers from academia, applied science, and executive management. They will encompass local (MENA related) context and content and provide a collaborative atmosphere among like- minded individuals.


Call for Applications MENA Digital Summer School 2023 for drivers of digital transformation


Format: Hybrid Program (online and in-person modules)

Online Teaching dates: Sept 11-15, 2023 In person program starts: Sept 24, 2023 In person program ends: October 2, 2023

Location: Germany (Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia)

Cost: The scholarship covers course participation as well as flight costs, accommodation, and travel costs during the in-person module in Germany.

Eligibilty: Participants of the MENA Digital Summer School will be particularly successful graduate students and young entrepreneurs between the age of 20 and 40, who show particular promise in their respective fields of endeavour and have great English skills.

(Proof documents could be requested to support your application)

Applicants shall be nationals of the following states and currently reside in their country of origin or another state of the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa): Mauretania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestinian Territories, Iraq, Djibouti, Comoros, member states of the GCC).

Participants are expected to apply with a project idea for digital innovation.

In order to apply, kindly send your CV and motivation to join the program to